Mercantile Bank commits $250K to homebuyer assistance program

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Scott Setlock. Courtesy Mercantile Bank

A local bank committed $250,000 to a program that helps people buy their first home.

Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank said Tuesday, April 19, it once again committed $250,000 in funding to its Extra Credit Home Buyer Assistance Program.

Last year, the program funds were used up helping over 90 families and individuals to purchase their first home. The program offers up to $2,500 per household that can be applied toward loan closing costs, homeowner’s insurance and taxes, if homebuyers meet certain income or property location eligibility requirements.

In addition to the Extra Credit Program, Mercantile developed a loan that aims to assist those who serve their communities. The Community Champion program waives the requirement of mortgage insurance for borrowers that have a minimum 10% down payment and who work in an industry that serves the public. Employees of schools, hospitals, first responders, police and fire departments, local, city, state and federal government, and military members are eligible for the program.

“Buying a home is a milestone that should be attainable for more people in our communities. Costs associated with obtaining a mortgage, such as closing costs and mortgage insurance, are often the reason people decide not to purchase a home,” said Scott Setlock, executive vice president at Mercantile Bank. “It is important to us that we assist in helping to reduce barriers to homeownership.”

Participation in homebuyer classes is required for the Extra Credit program.

Staci Nichols. Courtesy Mercantile Bank

Staci Nichols, who Mercantile recently hired as a mortgage lender and who will be focusing on promoting community lending programs, said she is passionate about educating customers on the homebuying process.

“It is my goal to make sure our clients understand the homebuying process from start to finish,” Nichols said. “The more I can help customers and answer their questions, the more empowered they will be to take charge of their full financial picture. Purchasing a home can help people reach their financial goals, and leveraging the programs that we have available can be a great step in that direction.”

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